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Japanese shares edge up as Hong Kong, China markets stabilise

TOKYO: Japanese shares edged up Friday after markets in China and Hong Kong found some stability amid ongoing unrest in Hong Kong, but the gains were limited by nagging fears of a global economic slowdown.

The Nikkei index gained 0.06 per cent on Friday to 20,418.81. The index fell 1.2 per cent in the previous session.

“The rise by equities in Hong Kong and Shanghai amid a suggestion by US President (Donald) Trump to China’s president that they discuss issues, including the situation in Hong Kong, has supported the market,” said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.

“But the market’s gains are limited by global recession fears.”

President Trump said on Thursday that he had a call scheduled soon with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but he did not say when.

The Nikkei has lost 1.3 per cent this week, during which an inversion of the US Treasury yield curve -widely regarded as a recession signal- triggered a global sell-off in riskier assets.

Some exporters fared a little better as the yen’s advance against the dollar stalled. Nissan Motor Co was up 0.6 per cent, Panasonic added 0.5 per cent and Hitachi gained 0.6 per cent.

Semiconductor manufacturer Renesas climbed 3.3 per cent after its US peers such as Applied Materials Inc and Nvidia Corp posted upbeat results.

Other tech-related shares also gained, with Tokyo Electron rising 2 per cent and Toshiba Corp adding 1.3 per cent.

Unizo Holdings jumped 15.7 per cent after the Nikkei daily reported that US investment firm Fortress Investment Group will offer to buy the hotel operator, launching a counter bid against travel agency H.I.S. Co.

HIS rose 5.8 per cent amid speculation that it could potentially pull back from a financially taxing takeover in the face of competition from Fortress.

Financial shares remained under pressure, with this week’s sharp drop in bond yields seen hurting their profitability. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group was down 0.5 per cent and Shinsei Bank shed 2 per cent.

There were 131 advancers on the Nikkei index against 88 decliners.

The largest percentage gainer in the index was Daiwa House Industry Co, which rose 5.1 per cent. The largest percentage loser was Recruit Holdings Co, which suffered a loss of 3.1 per cent.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 0.86 billion, compared to the average of 1.13 billion yen in the past 30 days.

The broader Topix added 0.1 per cent to 1,485.29.

Source: Economic Times